About Alimatu Azungah
Gina wants something to show for her years of marriage but God isn't just watching, legs crossed from her golden throne but also crushing her attempts to achieving her goal.
Her husband, Andy is too supportive and her mother-in-law too understanding that she wonders if they are hiding something from her.
What will the detective in her find?
Read Patience Gina on spillwords. com to find out
The Day We Met
The day we met
Uniqueness. Casey has always loved a different opinion or action. She prized herself as someone who can accept people's ideas and actions that differs from hers.
For the first time, her resolve was waving.
Dressed in a black long dress, tainted glasses and a purple rose in hand, she cast her glance at the strange man ahead of her. For a moment, she forgot the ache in her heart and really looked at this man's slim, charcoal black skin. He wore a white shirt and white shorts. His face was a direct contrast to hers. His eyes fixated in front of him. He smiled fondly at the raised, cemented grave. Of all places to smile? Casey thought.
It has been two years since she lost her brother but she still couldn't bring herself to smile at his graveside. As she glanced at the man, anger took residents in her heart. She wanted to smile, laugh even. She wanted to assure her brother she was a strong girl but her strong girl facade always deserted her when she needed it.
She decided to ignore that man. People grieved differently. She sat herself down slowly, placing her brother's favourite flower on his engraved name.
A memory pushed its way out of the cave she has imprisoned them for the past two years. She closed her eyes and surrendered to her mind as it took her back in time, back when Foster wasn't reduced to a mere memory.
"You heard the woman. That colour is not available," Casey said, voice pleading.
"But that's the one I prefer." Foster stamped his feet splashing muddy water her way. She took a deep breath to calm herself.
"How about white, or red. Red is beau..."
Foster shook his head, "No, it is not beautiful in my eyes. Red rose is too common. I want something different, unique."
"But we have checked all the gardens here and you still can't figure out what kind of flower you want." Casey's patience was slipping away.
"We haven't gone to mr KK 's garden." Casey almost strangles him. Her little brother was a pain. They were walking around gardens for three hours searching for a flower he had seen in a movie.
She felt a presence and willed her eyes open, shattering the rest of her reverie.
she didn't realize she was crying. She reached for the tissue the person handed her and dabbed her eyes clean.
"Thank you." she choked in a voice she didn't recognize.
It was the man she was watching all along. He had brown dirt on his white shorts. "No problem," the man said walking away. She didn't want him to leave. She wanted to say something, ask questions but her lips seem glued. She closed her eyes, suck in a large amount of air and stammered, "H..ow do.. you do that?" No reply.
"HOW DO YOU DO THAT" her voice echoed like in a horror movie.
The man halted in his tracts and walked back slowly to stand a few feet from her. Brows drew together in confusion.
"Come again," he asked
"You were smiling throughout your visit. How do you do that?" Where ever her confidence came from she didn't know but she was glad.
He drew in air, shoved his hands into his pocket and began. "I was discussing a book with her. she loved books and her favourite author released a book today. I pretended we were sitting together like we used to, reading stories and role-playing." Casey didn't say anything, only wished she could find such tranquillity in the things Foster loved.
"What did..." He stole a glance at the engraved name "Foster love doing?"
"He loved flowers, rare flowers though we never owned a garden." she found herself chuckling.
"How do you think Foster would feel in his own garden?" "Take a deep breath and imagine him in a garden full of his favourite flowers."
Casey did as told. Nothing came to mind at first. She dragged her eyes to Mr KK's backyard garden, she saw a thirteen-year-old year Foster in a yellow shirt, hands covered in dirt. He was planting flowers. He stood up, stretched his chubby frame and gazed back at his handy work. A contented smile gracing his face. It tugs at his lips and they bloomed open in a beautiful chuckle "I can't believe this is mine, Casey." Foster beamed, doing a cautious happy whirl in the garden. "Me neither." Eighteen years old Casey whisper yelled trying to match her little brother's enthusiasm. Foster went back to planting with a gentle smile on his face.
"There you go," A voice said and Casey jarred back to the present. Shoulders relax, eyes shimmering from the unfamiliar feeling taking over her body—She was laughing. She loved how the laughter took abode in every bit of her body. It felt like an angel gave her a piece of herself that was missing.
She finally brought her eyes to watch the man in front of her. He was smiling, broadly. "You are welcome," he smirked
Casey laughed, hard, like never before and threw her arms around the man's neck. They held on to each other like conjoined twins.
"Thank you so much," she said.
"You are most welcome, ..." Casey pulled away from the hug and offer her hand.
"Casey. Casey Johnson."
"Foster... I'm Foster."
Falling for you
There should be something special about today, but there wasn't. Soraiya woke up early as she does every day to offer her prayers. As a kid, this day had always promised her excitement. She would bug her mother, Mmah Adisa to buy her a dress, which she never does. Mmah Adisa preferred to sew Soraiya's dresses herself. They were always beautiful but for once Soraiya wanted something different; those already made her friends wore on Christmas.
Mmah Adisa would buy plain lace or dresses and transform them into something beautiful for her. She would buy young Soraiya sandals, a fake chain that fades after two days, watch and spectacles that snapped after a day. They were all fake—it took her ages to come to that realisation—her mother made it look like she was careless and spoiled the item in a few days. She would give Soraiya the remains of her local henna to colour her left hand. Eid was special then. She thought smoothing the hems of her Turkey abaya. Her dark henna design adding glow to her light skin. She misses her mother. She misses her childhood Eid. She misses her family.
Eid is different now. The kind of different she wanted as a kid but now she didn't like it. The grass is greener on the other side. She wore an already made as she always wanted but the happiness she associated with it was missing—her family was miles away. She is an adult now.
Black purse clutched under her armpit, a white veil secured on her head skilfully revealing her gold earrings, her black abaya swallowed her gold heels, she matched out and trekked to the nearby school park where the Eid ceremony was taking place.
The plan was simple. Pray, eat, sleep.
Soraiya heard a gentle knock on her door. Wrong timing. She mumbled under her breath rising begrudgingly to check who was at the door. She was about to execute number two of her plan.
"Yes? how may I help you?" She hissed, not bothering to hide the slight irritation in her voice.
"My name is Kassim and I am a Muslim." A lightless young man said in an enthusiastic voice. His introduction reminded her of an Indian movie she couldn't remember the title "My name is Khan and I am not a terrorist" she smiled mentally and gave the man a real stare. He sounded like that was a first-class introduction he needed to enter paradise.
"Eid Mubarak mr Kassim," she eases her confused face into a small smile.
"I moved into room ten and the landlord said you were a Muslim. I came to say hi. Can I join you? Eid is boring when you are away from home"
"Yeah." She agreed, making way for Kassim to join her in her room. Her Sleep clearing to make way for his entrance.
Soraiya admired him for approaching her. She had been introduced to Muslims around where she lives when she rented this place last year but she never took the bold step of knocking on their door.
Kassim sat opposite her and they spend the day chatting and getting to know each other. He was a newly posted teacher to one of the secondary schools He claimed to be single, an information Soraiya found unnecessarily yet she was glad to hear of it.
"Thanks," Kassim spoke as she walked him to the door.
"I should be thanking you. I didn't spend the day sleeping like I did last year." She replied.
Kassim paused at the entrance, turned around to face Soraiya and whispered, "you look beautiful." Soraiya blushed, lowering her head to observe the loose-fitting straight dress she was wearing. She wanted to tell him he looked dashing in his polished cotton kaftan but couldn't find her tongue.
She reached for the door the same time Kassim did too making their hands brace for a slit second. She felt something rush through her veins, accelerating her heartbeat.
A series of knocks broke the silence.
"Barka da Sallah." Three kids chorussed in matching dresses and fake glasses. Soraiya smiled like she was looking at her younger self.
"Who showed you this room?" Kassim asked dripping his hand in his pocket to sort them out.
The eldest among them pointed to the far left room.
"Landlord!" Soraiya giggled and Kassim wore an amused smile.
Path to destiny
The last time he saw Annie was at church. She was in a glittering white wedding gown, ready to becomes someone's when she'd already affirmed to be his last night. He couldn't watch them. The church was their place; it was the place they started.
They started with harmless glances at each other during Sunday service, 'hello', 'hi' after Wednesday prayer night and exchanging ideas during church programs.
With time, their short greetings extended to "how was your night?" and they made time for unrelated church activities after service. It got harder to balance their growing love, Christian life and responsibilities with that of making time for friends.—Twenty four hours a day just wasn't enough for them. They didn't see anyone outside their bubble. They were each other's friends.
Isn't that what love does?
It gives you everything you need in one person. He found the friendship, companionship, love, and care that he needed in his family and friends in one place —Annie. It wasn't a problem to chasing everyone away. It was simple; spend all his time with her.
He glances at the paper placed strategically on his study table. It will be the second thing to be noticed when someone enters the room. This is fate. That's the three words inscribed in the folded paper. Are
Besides fate, how was he to explain or comprehend how Annie his love, the lady who spend the night at his place last night, was getting married to someone else the next morning in church. The mere thought choked air out of his lungs. With shaky hands, he draws the rope over his head and climbs the chair underneath the hanging rope. Pushing the chair away would seal his fate. He wouldn't see her curvy figure swagging across his room in her pink nightie again. Her lavender fragrance wouldn't haunt his nose if he couldn't breathe. He sucks in a breath and exhales, pushing the chair away with his toes. This will save him from their sweet-bitter memories.
"This was just stupid of you, you know?" Annie says amidst placing light kisses on the ugly scar on Dan's neck. "And who was the cause of that stupidity?" He chuckles wrapping an arm around her lower back.
"This is fate– Annie mimics her husband in a delicate voice that didn't do justice to his baritone one. –was what your suicide voice said though," She smirks.
"It was fate, baby. It brought you back to me."
A tiny shade of gloom flickers on Annie's eyes. "You could have died."
"But I didn't." Dan coos earning him series of hits on his chest. Dan captures both her wrists with his large hand.
"Thank God Chris got there on time." She murmurs, anger melting.
"What gave you the courage to abandon the wedding?" The incident has been two months already but he never asked her why or how she came back? He was just glad fate brought her back into his life.
"The only reason I agreed to the wedding was that I thought you wouldn't be in town." He was supposed to represent his company in a program that Sunday in another region. "When I saw you in church, I knew I could live with my father's wrath than sacrifice your smile for his gains."
He sits them down as silence clouds the air.
"I'm glad the program had gotten cancelled that day. I'm glad I was at church that day. I'm glad I attempted suicide. I'm glad for all the weeks I spent in the hospital because they were all catalysts for our love." Dan leans his head and places a soothing kiss on Anne's belly.
Beautiful. It was the first word that comes to mind when you wake up earlier than she does to drink her in. You would rub your sleepy eyes with the knuckle of your index finger, first the right, then the left.
Peaceful. That's the word leaving your lips as you stare at her coffee brown nightwear, you drag the duvet to cover her. She kicks it away like a stubborn child. Your morning face loosens and glows with a smile. how she sleeps so peacefully in this late July morning cold uncovered always beats you.
Her hand clutching the one between her and you. It uses to be wrapped around you or placed anywhere except her tummy but these days, that's where she loves to put it, that's where you love to see it. You place your hand on hers.
Family. That was what you were. A complete family. You chastise yourself mentally for ever believing the little life would replace you as her loved one.
"Family feud Ghana..." you hear Steve's voice rake through the speakers. It was her favourite show. She was your favourite show. The back of four fingers holds your chin as you stare at her. She sits to your left, giggling and giggling and giggling as the Amoah family racks their brains to answer Stave's questions. First, she would draw her brows together and think with the family as they come up with answers to one of the weird and hilarious questions, then her eyes will sparkle at a given answer, her lips follow up and her entire body shakes in laugher, loud lustrous laughter.
Happiness. It's how she feels. It's how you feel. It was the summation of your presence in your life.
"M..my...the baby," she grasps, staring down her legs. The jug of juice in your hand slips and breaks on the white tiles.
"Hospital." You manage to say and she nods repeatedly.
Her water broke.
By the next morning and the weeks that followed, it wasn't the only thing that broke that day. Your entire life broke.
When you look at the bed, she is curled up there until she isn't. Now, you are up staring at him all night, doing the one thing you promised her— being a good dad without her.